LTC Bullet: Retirement at the Tipping Point

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


LTC Comment: Age Wave sage Ken Dychtwald's new study and book on retirement are must reads for anyone advising aging Americans on financial planning. Details after the ***news.***

*** SOUTH FLORIDA SENIOR EXPO on Friday, May 1 drew a crowd intensely interested in long-term care planning and financing. David Wilcox of the Corporation for Long-Term Care Certification ( led off the program. Steve Moses delivered the luncheon keynote address ( Elaine Marvin, representing State Life/OneAmerica (, spoke on asset-based LTCi products. Here's a sample of the feedback on Steve's presentation:

"Probably the most enlightening presentation I have attended." Rupert Seymour-Newton

"Amazing information and statistics to propel me towards carrying the message of the private way of funding LTC through the use of insurance (LTCi)." Cornelia Philipson

"Excellent presentation, superb." Barry T. Forman ***

*** GEORGE BRADDOCK, the Center for Long-Term Care Reform's Regional Representative for Miami, organized the Annual Senior Expo last year and this year. See and hear him interviewed on our LTC TV channel here. Next check out the dozens of other interviews and vignettes we've posted on LTC TV here. ***

*** BONUS WEBSITE. All you have to do to have your very own LTC website designed by LTC Connection is to join the Center for Long-Term Care Reform. That's right, join the Center for $150 per year, get all our publications and access to The Zone, including our new "Almanac of Long-Term Care," and on top of that LTC Connection will design your website and waive their usual $149 fee. Or look at it this way, buy your website from LTC Connection through the Center and get a year of membership in the Center for only $1 more. Sure, you'll have to pay LTC Connection's $39 per month website maintenance fee, but you'll get a whole year of LTC Bullets and LTC E-Alerts for no extra charge. So, what do you have to do? Just contact Damon at 206-283-7036 or, join the Center, pay your membership fee, and say "I want my website." We'll connect you with the right person at LTC Connection and you'll be on your way. Great content from the Center and a great website from LTC Connection. How can you beat it? Already a member of the Center but want your free website? No problem. Renew your annual membership early and get the same deal. ***



LTC Comment: Ken Dychtwald's 1989 book Age Wave was a revelation for me. It gave me a context in which to understand the full meaning of the Medicaid and long-term care financing issues on which I focused. Now Dychtwald has tackled the timely topic of the baby boomers' retirement. His new book covers how aging boomers will change retirement. His new study covers how the recession has changed boomers' retirement prospects already!

I don't think I could tell you about the new Dychtwald output any better than he and his "Age Wave" ( crew do themselves in the following press release. Read it; check out the new report; and buy the book. You won't regret it.



Elyse Pellman, Age Wave Executive Vice President
(415) 705-8018 or

Robyn Hamilton, Age Wave Chief Administrative Officer

(415)705-8015 or

Age Wave (


Age Wave releases the results of a national study…


SAN FRANCISCO May 4, 2009 – The current economic reckoning has created vast financial losses and uncertainty during the last year, triggering all generations to reassess the funding, timing and purpose of retirement. To learn precisely how this past year has altered Americans’ retirement hopes, worries, and plans, Age Wave, the nation’s thought-leader on aging and retirement issues, and Harris Interactive have surveyed thousands of Americans in a new eye-opening study, Retirement at the Tipping Point: The Year That Changed Everything. The results uncovered mounting fears and shifting plans, but also a renewed focus on what’s important and an optimistic outlook about the possibilities for retirees’ new role in American life.

"A new era of cautious self-reliance is emerging from a truly unnerving fiscal dilemma. For many people, their retirement dreams have vaporized. Each of the four generations polled is trying to alter its game plan in fascinating ways to seek peace of mind and to make the best of the years ahead," said Dr. Ken Dychtwald, Age Wave’s founder and CEO, recognized as the nation’s leading gerontologist, psychologist and best-selling author of sixteen books, including his new book With Purpose: Going from Success to Significance in Work and Life (3/09).

Exactly one year ago, in collaboration with Charles Schwab Corporation and Harris Interactive, Age Wave surveyed four generations on a wide range of probing questions about their retirement. "This new study, Retirement at the Tipping Point, is much more than a snapshot of what people are thinking at a moment in time. By re-asking over 2,000 people across the generations some of the same questions we asked before the market crashed, we have a striking, in-depth view and measurement of the impact this disaster has on people’s economic well-being and retirement plans," said Humphrey Taylor, Chairman of the Harris Poll.

Retirement at the Tipping Point revealed four key illuminating and provocative findings, including:

#1: Resetting the Retirement Clock

Seven-Year Money Setback – Nearly 60% of Americans have lost money in mutual funds, 401(k) plans, or the stock market. Respondents think it will take an average of seven years for their investments to recover.

#1 Fear: Uncovered Medical Costs are the Retirement Wildcard - The single biggest worry among those 55+ is that they will be unable to afford uncovered medical expenses (46%). This is now a greater concern than either lack of personal savings (18%) or uncertain entitlements (11%).

Retirement Postponed - For the first time in U.S. history, we may witness a significant increase in the retirement age as respondents say on average they will now need to postpone retirement by 4.2 years – which will also adjust the "work-to-retirement ratio."

#2: Needed: Financial Rehab

Lessons Learned – Only 4% of respondents strongly agree that Americans behave in a financially responsible fashion. 81% said that to "live within your means" was the most important financial advice parents could pass on to their children - jumping up from 69% a year ago. "Begin saving at an early age" came in second (65%).

A Call for Financial Fitness at Every Age - An overwhelming 95% of respondents agree that financial management should be a standard part of high school curricula. Although 35 states mandate sex education, only three – Utah, Tennessee and Missouri – have, to date, made personal finance courses a requirement.

Seeking Financial Peace of Mind - A majority of all survey participants (56%) agree that the best thing about having money is "feeling secure." In recent months, we have seen Americans go "back to basics" as evidenced by an increase in the savings rate, now over 4%, twice the savings rate over the past decade, and household credit card debt has dropped almost 10% from the prior year.

#3: Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

What We Value Most – The majority of respondents (58%) said that loving family and relationships are at the heart of what we hold most dear today – twice as important as being wealthy (33%) and twenty times more important than wielding power and influence (3%).

Brother Can You Spare a Dime (or $50,000, or a bedroom)? With growing uncertainty about both government benefits and work security, millions of men and women are turning back to their families for financial assistance.

The Sandwich Generation has Turned Into Multigenerational "Rubik" Families - Four out of ten respondents now worry they will have to financially support their parents or in-laws. This growing interdependence extends to siblings, with nearly a quarter of Millennials worrying they will need to provide care and support for siblings as well.

#4: Retirement Finds a New Purpose

Out of the Ashes, New Possibilities - A new and, in some ways, more optimistic vision for retirement is emerging. 60% of Americans now say they view retirement to be "a new, exciting chapter in life" contrasted with 52% last year. And, 70% want to include working in retirement as a way to contribute, remain stimulated and pay the bills.

Sage Elders Needed - Three-quarters of all respondents think our country would benefit in important ways if retirees were more involved in contributing their valuable skills and experience to our communities, with the most enthusiastic response coming from retirees themselves (83%).

The Emergence of Philanthropreneuring – With growing interest in civic engagement, the majority (57%) of respondents would prefer a volunteer activity that makes use of their full range of work and life skills and experience – rather than basic service and support tasks.

"While we discovered both disturbing and encouraging signs about retirement from each generation, there are indications that of all cohorts, it’s the Millennials that are coming out of this financial storm a wiser, more cautious, and more responsible generation. They were the most likely to have learned valuable lessons about financial responsibility and had the biggest jump over the past year in their concern about living within their means (63% to 81%)" concludes David Baxter, Age Wave’s Senior Vice President of Research.

Adds Ken Dychtwald, "There’s no question that this past year has been a time of struggle and worry. At this point, most of us are taking a deep breath, assessing the damage and trying to figure out how to move forward. As we reviewed the survey results, we couldn’t help reflecting that Retirement at the Tipping Point demonstrates the fortitude and resilience of our country as we re-think the funding, timing and purpose of retirement. Though the study uncovered anxiety and uncertainty necessitating shifting plans and priorities, it also revealed a hopeful outlook as a new, more engaged and sustainable model of retirement is being envisioned."

Please visit for the complete, downloadable Retirement at the Tipping Point report.

About the Study

Retirement at the Tipping Point: The Year That Changed Everything™ was initiated by Age Wave. All data collection and analysis was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive. A total of 2,082 interviews were conducted between March 30 and March 31, 2009. The sample is representative by age, gender, race, income, investable assets, education and region for each of the four generations studied.

About Age Wave

Age Wave is the world’s leader in market analysis and innovative insights concerning the boomer and mature adult sectors. Drawing on over thirty years of experience, Age Wave has developed a unique understanding of the population’s expectations, attitudes, hopes and fears regarding retirement and maturity-related lifestyle and workstyle issues. Under the leadership of Dr. Ken Dychtwald, Ph.D., Age Wave has overseen hundreds of cutting-edge research, training, and consulting assignments worldwide across a variety of industry sectors. Ken Dychtwald is widely viewed as the nation’s most visionary gerontologist/psychologist and is the author of sixteen books including the just released With Purpose: Going From Success to Significance in Work and Life (Collins Life 3/09). For more information, please visit

About Harris Interactive®

Harris Interactive is a global leader in custom market research. With a long and rich history in multimodal research, powered by science and technology, Harris assists clients in achieving business results. Harris Interactive serves clients globally through their North American, European and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms. For more information, please visit

© 2009 Age Wave. All rights reserved.